Negotiating Alimony And Child Support Payments
The attorneys at Cole Family Law have been helping couples navigate through divorce proceedings for a quarter of a century. We understand the complexities of the Michigan Child Support Formula and how the courts approach alimony payments. Our attorneys can investigate the likely impact of support payments on your daily finances before you file for divorce. If you are already divorced and dealing with a court-mandated payment that you don’t think is fair, we can also help you appeal the court’s decision.
Dependents And The Michigan Child Support Calculator
When couples with children divorce in Michigan, child support is determined by the Michigan Child Support Calculator. The calculator assigns payment obligations to one of the parents based on a number of factors, including:
- The income of each parent
- Custody and visitation agreements
- The number of dependents involved
- Medical expenses
- The cost of child care
If you don’t agree with the payment amount, you can ask the judge to make an adjustment. The court is generally open to challenges to the child support calculator recommendation, but you need to be prepared with a strong argument and numbers to back up your request.
Qualifying For Alimony
Alimony is not automatically granted in a divorce. In general, the longer a couple was married and the greater the difference in the spouse’s annual income, the more likely it is that alimony will be granted. The amount of alimony granted is dependent on several factors, including:
- The age and overall health of each spouse
- The financial security of each spouse
- Behavior during the marriage (infidelity, abuse, addiction, etc.)
- The standard of living during the marriage
- The ability of each spouse to work
The goal of the court is to divide the marital property evenly to ensure the financial stability of each spouse to the extent possible. Alimony only enters the equation if the equal division of assets does not result in an equal standard of living for each spouse after the divorce.
The court does allow changes to alimony when there is a change of circumstances such as when the spouse receiving alimony remarries or passes away. However, outside of those circumstances, the hearings for changes in alimony are notoriously bitter and vicious. To hold the sympathy of the court, it is best to enter these hearings armed with documents to support your argument.